Nearly seven years have passed since Notre Dame last qualified for the NCAA Baseball Tournament. The Fighting Irish built a strong early season resume to make a return to the tournament in 2013, but with NCAA selection Monday a week away they have work to do to ensure a bid as they prepare to begin the Big East Tournament on Wednesday.
The Irish (31-23, 10-14 Big East) open play in Clearwater, Fla as the No. 7 seed in the conference tournament and will face No. 2 Seton Hall (36-17, 18-6) in the 1 p.m. ET game Wednesday afternoon. No. 3 seed Pittsburgh (40-15, 18-6) and No. 6 St. John's (23-33, 10-14) are the other two teams on Notre Dame's side of the bracket in the double-elimination tournament.
No. 1 Louisville (46-10, 20-4), No. 4 USF (35-20, 17-7), No. 5 Rutgers (26-28, 14-10), and No. 8 UConn (30-26, 9-15) are on the other side of the bracket. The winner from each pool of four teams advances to play a winner take all championship game at Noon Sunday (ESPNU).
Notre Dame's pool of four teams is a very winnable bracket, but the Irish went just 3-6 against the other three teams in the pool during the regular season. ND took two of three from the Pirates in their Big East-opening series back in mid-March. They lost all three games at Pittsburgh and dropped two of three to the Red Storm in New York last weekend.